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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Norfolk Trip Part 1 - A Rainy Autumn Day In Felbrigg Hall Woods

Last weekend I made another trip to Norfolk to collect my mother as she was flying from my local airport to see my brother and his wife who live in Abu Dhabi. When travelling to my mother's house, I always try to stay overnight so that I can get out for a walk with my camera while I am there. The weekend really didn't start well. My journey from Warwickshire all the way to the Norfolk Broads was in thick fog. Not an easy drive.

The Autumn views especially through Thetford Forest must have been amazing...if only I could have seen it.

The next morning (Sunday), it poured with rain, so much so that I had to cancel the planned boat trip to Blakeney Point. I really did not want to risk my camera in that sort of weather. My Hubby managed to get another 'work from home day' so I could try again the next morning. The weather didn't look great again but I was prepared this time! I had gone into the local village and bought a cheap raincoat. I cut the arm off one side and 'hey presto' A home-made camera rain cover :) Someone said I must have watched too much 'Blue Peter' :):) It worked perfectly, only cost me £10 and I have a spare :)

Leaving my Mum to pack for her long trip, I left a little early as half way to Blakeney is Felbrigg Hall which is somewhere I often visit when I am in the area. We don't often go into Felbrigg House itself  as the estate is vast and the children love to run through the woods.

 We used to live on the Norfolk Broads for 6 years when the children were very young. In those days, Felbrigg Hall, Sheringham Park, Horsey Mill and Blickling Hall were my local National Trust properties. Felbrigg and Sheringham being our favourites and both I miss very much. Felbrigg has a lot of history which I will cover in a future blog when I re-visit the house. My last entry to the house was when we could not take photos and unfortunately, I will miss Felbrigg decorated for Christmas for a second year running as my return visit to take my Mother home, is in 3 weeks and mid-week. Like so many other National Trust properties, the houses are often closed for Winter or open just at weekends through the colder months. Some will only open for a week or two to show off the house dressed up for the season. It is always worth checking a property prior to a visit to see if the house is open or not, especially if that is your main reason for your visit.

A damp grey day but a few rainbows that day. This one isn't the best from that day but I was driving when I saw the others.

I had heard the Autumn colours were at their peak at Felbrigg, rain or shine, I was going to visit. It was still early morning when I arrived but the grounds are open from dawn to dusk all year around. With my new camera rain cover, off I went. After only 10 minutes the heavens opened and I was soaked but it was a funny morning as the Sun and rain kept taking turns. I decided to stick to the woods, hoping the trees would keep me a little drier than the lake walk and I did not have time to do both. It was a good choice. The Autumn colours were beautiful even in the wet weather and as you walked through the woods, there were a few surprises.

I am sure these cattle were put here just to make me feel at home. We have had this exact type of cattle grazing on Camp Ground at Charlecote Park this year. I had seen the Bull first and it just stood and stared at me. As I walked through the wood, more and more cows appeared. I must say, they blended very well with the Autumn colours.

When the Sun came out and shone on the trees, it really did look beautiful. Unfortunately the Sun didn't come out as much as I would have liked it to but the rain did not spoil my walk.

I don't think you can get much better than a lovely walk through the woods on an Autumn day.It always makes me feel more alive and I walk around with a smile on my face :)

I did get another surprise on my walk which I really did not expect. I bumped into a World War 2 German Soldier. He looked  more than a little uncomfortable when he saw me, he took his helmet off and explained that they were doing a WW2 re-enactment. I walked off in the other direction and left them to it as I could hear the rest of them coming up the other side of the Victory Walk.

The Autumn colours were everywhere. They were not joking when they told me they were at their peak! I wish I had had more time to spend there but I had a boat to catch and I really did not want to miss it. I cut my walk a little short but this in turn made me walk through an area I had not before and the views were lovely.

A little Sun through the evergreens and loads of fungi along this part of the walk.

Part of the Victory Walk. For those who don't know, The Victory Walk is two avenues of trees that meet together to make a V, planted as a memorial for the end of the 2nd WW.  Where the avenues meet, there is a bench you can sit on to take in the view. I call it the thinking bench.

 I love the way the Sun shines through trees at this time of the year.

 This tree stump is very important on our walks when accompanied by my sister's family and mine together. We have always played a little game to encourage the children to walk further around the park. Every tree stump the children see, they must stand on it and pretend to be a statue and everyone else has to guess what they are. All the children get a go and then they run to find the next one. It is amazing how much further they used to walk when we played this game. They are all getting a little older now so only my sister''s two youngest children still play.

   Do you know if you look carefully you might see fairies in these woods too?

My sisters youngest children are great, they love their photo taken and beg me to take more.... unlike that of her older children or mine (It's the teenage thing!).This next photo was taken at Felbrigg in early Spring on a previous visit. Wish I had a couple of local models like them! I have some lovely photos of them around Blickling Hall. Every time I visit, I try to have at least one day out with them. This time the weather wasn't on our side and on the Monday, they were back at school.

With time running out I could not stay longer. I was soaked but my camera was perfectly dry, my home-made cover had worked really well :)

  There were loads of fungi on my walk but none as big as these. As the grass was long it made them look small on my photos so I placed some fallen leaves near the base, just to give an idea of their size but it doesn't work as well as I thought it might.

They looked like children's stools and stood around 33-35cm high.

This whole area of North Norfolk looks amazing at the moment with it's Autumn colours. The drive from Felbrigg to  Blakeney Point was stunning. I didn't go into Sheringham Park but I did pass it and it is a 'must visit' too. I know everyone is getting reading for Christmas but don't by-pass the rest of  Autumn in a hurry to get to Winter, you will miss so much. Beautiful changing colours, loads of fungi and wildlife in this area right now. Enjoy it while you can. 

Hope you have enjoyed this blog. If you are in the area, you must go and have a look, it is all so pretty at the moment but won't last long.

 Part 2 will be cover both my boat trip to see the seals at Blakeney Point and Horsey.

                                                    Copyright Jana Eastwood

1 comment:

  1. Lovely description of one of our favourite wake with the grandkids
    They love the walk to the lake and church, but only because of the old hollow oak tree that they like to hide in

    Your blog made a wonderful read thank you